Local businesses hiring 'contingent' staff

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO)-- The chess game between Washington and the business community has left millions of Americans on the sidelines as they try to find work. Now, businesses might have found a way around the gridlock.

A different kind of worker has now emerged in our society: the "contingent" employee. A contingent employee is someone who is hired contingent on what happens in the economy.

It could be based on the regulatory environment, sales, even Obamacare. While there are no guarantees with contingent employment, it gives people a chance to show companies what they can do.

"I'm off and on again, a stay-at-home mom," said Keonnie Elkins, who is looking for employment.

Elkins is a mother of four who has been looking for work for a year.

"I'm just going to take whatever I can get right at the moment since it's so scarce," added Elkins.

Local unemployment agencies are seeing an increase in businesses looking for temporary employment.

"It seems that more businesses, I want to say in the last year, have been using our agency; temporary employment has helped them," said Kelley Raymond, officer manager at Quick Temps LLC in Grand Junction.

Some people like Sabra O'Crotty worked so many temp jobs, she was pretty much working full-time.

"I took every part-time opportunity that came available, and I kind of put them into a full-time schedule, and since then, I've been offered more of a full-time position at my current job, and I've been able to keep some of my part-time things that I had going on evenings and weekends to supplement it," added O'Crotty.

However, contingent hiring is different from temporary hiring.

"It's contingent upon if our business continues at the volume we're seeing now. It's contingent on what the regulatory environment brings, be it healthcare or OSHA, or the Department of Labor, and things that happen in the regulatory environment based on headcount," said Nina Anderson, owner of Express Employment in Grand Junction.

Anderson says contingent employees may have a leg up when it comes to getting hired full-time.

"They know that if they're performing, and they help the company perform, that there's a possibility of them creating a position for them. Temporary, they're there; they know they need to perform typically because they know that if they're not performing, that person can change with the drop of a hat," explained Anderson.

But whether it's temporary or contingent, for people like Keonnie Elkins, she'll take whatever she can get.

"Either one, either that or something that I'm used to, but it doesn't really matter to me," said Elkins.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Mesa County remains 8.1 percent. That's still higher than both the state and national averages.

There are several temporary employment agencies locally, as well as resources at the Mesa County Workforce Center if you're looking for help landing a job.

For more information, please visit the related links below.

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